Arizona to lift mask mandates, reopen businesses

A slogan is seen on a car in "a motor march” protest of teachers who took it to their vehicles to demand a delay in in-person learning in the fall, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.

The governor of Arizona is prohibiting government mask mandates and allowing bars and nightclubs shuttered for months to open their doors without restrictions.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s move leaves in place few of the restrictions he implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus. His order still allows businesses to enforce mask mandates if they want, but cities, towns and counties must lift theirs.

Restrictions on gatherings of 50 or more people also were lifted, but organizers are required to “encourage” safety precautions like social distancing.

Ducey cites rising vaccination rates and the opening of vaccine appointments to all adults, as well as a declining number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

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